Word has gotten out in our small town. Where will the PT Food Co-op get our Lapin cherries this summer? YES… the Burgesses of Burgess Orchard in Tonasket, WA have taken their Lapin cherry trees out … yes, ripped from the ground, gone, burned to ashes and returned to the earth!
Years ago, Peter & Mary moved to the Okanogan Valley to retire from the work on boats that they loved so much in Port Townsend. Well, a Gala apples orchard (removed in the fall of 2010) is now gone and the cherry trees have followed. They still have their famous Artic Jay white nectarines; those will show their faces in the Co-op around the end of August, so we can look forward to them.
So, where are we going to get cherries? Will we replace the Burgess’ cherries with another Eastern WA grower/orchardist? YES, we will be moving down-valley a few miles (about 500 feet down in elevation) to River Valley Organics (RVO). Apple & George Otte have been growing Lapin cherries along with other delicious apple & pear varieties that we have purchased over the past 2 years.
RVO, due to its elevation, has cherries a week to 10 days earlier than the Burgess crop began. Last year we were able to get a few cases of their Lapins and they were GREAT! Yes, the Burgess Lapins have a following and people feel they are (were) the best cherries EVER! I would have to agree, BUT things do change … including people and their preferences … and I feel that as the distant memory of the Burgess’ Lapins begins to fade over time, the Otte’s Lapins will leave a new, lasting impression in our customer’s minds. Any questions, feel free to email me at Brendon@foodcoop.coop!
Bring on Cherry season!
P.S. Thank you to Peter & Mary Burgess for their YEARS of hard work and for bringing the fruits of their labor to our store!